Flirty Bird Red Blend

Pic of Flirty Bird Red Blend

Based on this red blend, this is an aptly named winery.  It’s just like that person at the bar that may be fun to flirt with, but you don’t want to take it home. It gave me what my wine annotator describes as “red wine face”…which is not a good thing.  Luckily, we found this at our local Aldi’s grocery store for about five bucks.  I’ll stick with the slightly cheaper Winking Owl they sell that is surprisingly good.

Stave & Steel’s 2014 Bourbon-barrel aged Cab Sauv

Stave & Steel 2014 Bourbon Barrel-aged Cabernet Sauvignon

With this 2014 cabernet sauvignon, Stave & Steel, out of Paso Robles, CA, has managed to accomplish what many wineries and breweries are attempting to do lately:  strike a perfect balance of their product (wine, in there case) with the scent and taste of bourbon.  Too often, these beers and wines over-age their products and the result is a beer or wine that tastes too strongly of bourbon.  Now, I like bourbon, but beer and wine should taste like beer and wine, not like a shot of bourbon.

Stave & Steel’s 2014 Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon was timed perfectly.  It’s a solid, tasty cab sauv with a hint of bourbon on the nose and on the tongue.  

Black Ops…a covert red wine.  Yes, covert, really.

Black Ops:  A red blend hy Pearmund Cellars
I’m actually not kidding about the covert part in the title.  Black Ops is not part of the tasting list at Pearmund Cellars.  They sell it as one of their reserves, which was great for us on Black Friday when all their reserves were on sale.  So what’s covert about it?  A couple things:  it’s a red blend, but they won’t tell what is blended in, percentages of grapes/wines or even which grapes/wines are used…even to their employees pouring wine for the tasting masses.  They also won’t reveal the alcohol percentage of the vintages.

Aside from the mystery of it all, the important part is the taste.  Not being one of those folks who can taste every separate ingredient and grape in the wine, I can only tell you that it is good…for me, anyway.  I think I caught a hint of tobacco giving it a slight smokiness that I really like (would have liked more of it in this one), and it was nice and full, like the cabs and merlots that I really like.  That’s about as good as I can do in describing its taste and body.

Had we been able to taste it first, I probably would not have bough it.  Not that it isn’t good, but I really loved Pearmund Cellars Merlot**…and it was less expensive that Black Ops.

**look for my review of Pearmund Cellars Merlot soon

Just 1 Story about this 1000 Stories Zinfandel: It’s good!

1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel-Aged Zindandel

I know there are a lot of people who like zinfandels, red and the dreaded ‘white zin’.  I have not been one of them.  My in-laws enjoy them and I’ve tried many, but they aren’t to my liking.  The week before Thanksgiving, my wife and I were shopping in our local Trader Joes and our favorite wine expert Wall-E recommended this Zindandel based on my description of what I like in a wine.  I was a bit apprehensive since I don’t like zins and it sells for $15ish, which is more than our usual price point for retail store wines, but we took his advice and bought a bottle.  Wall-E has led me to the only zinfandel I like.  I guess the bourbon barrel aging is the key.  I’m very happy with this wine and will be sure to let Wall-E know next time I see him.

StoneGate and Keswick vineyards 

The third and fourth bottles at Thanksgiving this year are Keswicks’s Cabernet Franc and StoneGate’s Cabernet Sauvignon.  I like them both.  Prefer the StoneGate, I think.  The Keswick’s temperature coming out of the wine fridge may have been too cool to get the full effect, though.

Touriga from Keswick Vineyards

Made from grapes used for port, Touriga has a smoky full taste that gives me a happy, warm feeling.  It’s the first bottle of Thanksgiving 2016…with many more to follow.  Cheers!

McManis is Magnificent!

We had a new Total Wine & More open near us so we headed up there on Saturday to check it out.  We had a tasting of Williamsburg Winery wines (two whites and a red), a tasting of Spanish wines (three reds and two whites) and I tasted a few beers from St. George’s and some brewery from North Carolina.

As we’d just about dinished perusing the store, looking and selecting a number of bottles, the store began setting up another tasting.  There was a white, the McManis pictured above, and The Prisoner, which doesn’t normally get tastes as it goes for about $40 a bottle.  I’m glad we waited for the guy to finish setting up.  Wow!  The McManis is a fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon.  It has replaced my previous favorite, Annefield Vineyards (and a good thing since they went out of business), and will likely be my new go to wine since it’s regular price is less than $10.

The Prisoner, btw, on hit my “it’s okay” meter, which certainly isn’t high enough for me to spend almost $40 on it.

I highly recommend McManis.  I know wine is highly subjective, but it’s certainly worth you givng it a taste.

My Favorite Apothic

My wife has long been a fan of Apothic Red, but it’s never been high on my list.

Today, we Apothic Dark. There is now an Apothic blend on my list of very tasty red blends.  Mmmmmm.

Hint, hint, wink, Winking Owl


So, we’re in Aldi’s grocery store and we come to the wine section and there are these bottles with cute little owls on them winking at us.  There’s cab, merlot, shiraz, chardonnay, pinot grigio…all for $2.98. What?! Yep, $2.98. Well, I figured we can’t miss on this.  Even if it sucked, that would only be a loss of three bucks.  Well, this Winking Owl cabernet sauvignon is surprisingly good.  It’s not the best I’ve ever had, but at about $3, you can’t really beat it.  The label describes it as more full-bodied than light and semi-dry, and it is right on.  I’ve never seen Winking Owl before, but we’ll certainly pick up a couple the next time we ‘re in an Aldi’s.

A very tasty GR8RW by Acronym.


Acronym. makes a very tasty cab. Picked it up on sale at half off at about $10…and it’s definitely worth it.  While I really like it at this price, I’m not sure I’d buy it for $20…mostly because that puts me over the regular price of my current go-to wine, Casillero del Dialbo’s Malbec, that runs about $13.

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